New York

Mungo Thomson

John Connelly Presents

Elliptical has many meanings, from oval, egg-shaped, or oviform to cryptic, ambiguous, or obscure. It might also denote something that has been abridged or is laconic about its means (which is to say nothing of its effects). Less descriptive than functional, this term surfaced—sometimes obliquely—throughout Mungo Thomson’s recent show, which was gamely titled “The Varieties of Experience” in dual homage to William James and Carl Sagan (James’s seminal The Varieties of Religious Experience was taken up by Sagan as The Varieties of Scientific Experience, a 2006 publication based on his Gifford Lectures on natural theology). The resulting constellation indeed highlighted an “elliptical” tendency in Thomson’s art—one that was explicitly shown on his announcement poster, which bore a negative image of a lunar cycle, and one that actively figured in his ambitious drawing project The Ellipses,

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